Conservatively Speaking

State Senator Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) represents parts of four counties: Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, and Walworth. Her Senate District 28 includes New Berlin, Franklin, Greendale, Hales Corners, Muskego, Waterford, Big Bend, the town of Vernon and parts of Greenfield, East Troy, and Mukwonago. Senator Lazich has been in the Legislature for more than a decade. She considers herself a tireless crusader for lower taxes, reduced spending and smaller government.

E-update From the Desk of Governor Scott Walker

One of the most important duties I have serving as your Governor is to provide you directly with updates related to the operation of our state government. I also frequently provide updates on Facebook (Governor Scott Walker) and Twitter (@govwalker). Please feel free to share this update with your family, friends, and others who may be interested in state government operations.

Economic Growth to Continue

Wisconsin’s economy is continuing to turn around. You don’t have to take my word for it—this week the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank released a new economic growth forecast for states. Their report forecasts Wisconsin to grow 1.95 percent over the next six months. It is the best economic forecast for our state since 2003. Wisconsin also experienced the most improved forecast in the nation.

A copy of the report and historical data can be found at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia’s website.

Also for the second month in a row Wisconsin’s economy added jobs, according to figures released by the National Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development. Initial estimates show that we gained more than 4,000 private sector jobs in February. We’ve added 17,800 private sector joTrtsabs in the first two months of 2012.

Bipartisan Bills Signed into Law

This week I signed more than 20 bills into law, which expanded Family Care, improved government operations, and revised outdated state statutes.

Last summer, I told the Journal Sentinel editorial board that we would have a plan to lift the caps on the Family Care program by the end of the year. In December, we laid out our plan to expand the program and ensure that it remains fiscally sustainable long into the future. This week, I followed through on my plan and signed a bill into law which lifts the caps so that more seniors needing long-term care, as well as people with developmental and physical disabilities, can participate in Family Care. The Family Care bill I signed received widespread bipartisan support in both houses of the Legislature.

This week I also signed Senate Bill (SB) 453 into law, which streamlines the operations of the Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS). This bill is just one example of how we have taken steps to improve services to the taxpayers we serve while reducing the cost of government. The best part about this bill is that the majority of changes came directly from DSPS employees who made suggestions on ways they thought the agency could run more efficiently. The good, hardworking public employees of DSPS deserve credit for stepping up and working to improve their agency. While this bill made a number of changes, one specific example of what this bill does is delete a provision of law that requires local units of government to submit a copy of each and every sanitary permit to DSPS. Instead, SB 453 allows for the periodic submission of a simple and more cost-effective tally sheet. The common sense reforms contained in this bill were supported by State Senators and State Representatives of both political parties.

March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, which is why I signed a number of bills into law to eliminate the use of the ‘r’ word in state statutes, expand access to educational materials for students with disabilities, and clearly define how school officials can use seclusion and physical restraint on students in school. These pieces of legislation also received bipartisan support.

Track Your State Agencies on Twitter

As your Governor, I am working hard to build a lean and transparent state government that works efficiently for the people of Wisconsin. Some of the tools our state agencies are using to reach out and become even more accessible are social media channels like Facebook and Twitter. Take a look at some of the useful information being tweeted out by Wisconsin state agencies below and consider following them for even more updates.

Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection: @widatcp
Recent Tweet: I uploaded a @YouTube video Interview with Secretary Brancel on Dairy 30x20

Department of Health Services: @DHSWI
Recent Tweet: For the children in your life, the Poison Control Hotline is one of the most important numbers to keep handy: 1-800-222-1222.

Department of Natural Resources: @WDNR
Recent Tweet: Moose photographed on Highway 8 at the intersection with Hay Meadow road east of Rhinelander.

Public Service Commission: @PSCWisconsin
Recent Tweet: Is your community taking the Clean Water Pledge? via @AddThis

Department of Tourism: @TravelWI
Recent Tweet: #Wisconsin is home to over 70 active and innovative breweries. Sip and sample on one of these #brewery tours:

Department of Transportation: @WisconsinUS41, @zeroinwisconsin, & others
Recent Tweet: Driver in rush to get to Oregon court picks up 3 speeding tickets worth $2,000 in an hour.

Department of Veterans Affairs: @WisVets
Recent Tweet: Did you hear about Operation Greatest Generation, a day-long event for our WWII vets on May 4? Mark your calendar!

Department of Workforce Development: @WIWorkforce
Recent Tweet: RT @JobCenterWI: VERSEVO INC in Hartland, WI is hiring! There are 15 job openings posted here: #job

As always, I provide updates from the Governor’s office on Facebook ( and Twitter @GovWalker. Thanks for following!

Just Ask the Governor: Part 10

Each e-update, I will answer a question submitted by a recipient of the previous e-update or from someone who contacts my office directly.

Question: With recent corporate tax increases in Illinois, what is Wisconsin doing to lure businesses to our state–especially in the stateline areas?

Answer: My administration has been very aggressive in recruiting businesses specifically from Illinois, in addition to reaching out to employers from other states and countries.

Specifically, we have worked tirelessly to enact pro-growth initiatives to improve Wisconsin’s overall business climate by reforming our tax, regulatory and litigation processes. We are phasing in a new qualified production activities credit that will virtually eliminate the income and franchise taxes on manufacturing and agricultural businesses in Wisconsin. Most importantly, we provided certainty for employers and taxpayers through fiscal reforms that solved a $3.6 billion state budget deficit without relying on one-time solutions, tricks, and gimmicks.

We have already seen some tangible results Wisconsin’s new open for business attitude. Below are just a few examples:

· Catalyst Exhibits, Inc. moved its operations from Illinois Pleasant Prairie
· moved its headquarters to Beloit
· Uline Shipping Supply Specialists moved from Minnesota to Hudson
· Precision Ice Blast moved their facilities from Michigan to Peshtigo

It is also worth noting that while our neighbors to the south present a stark contrast to what we have been doing in Wisconsin, business owners around the world have taken note of the changes we’ve made to turn our state’s economy around. Just recently a manufacturing company moved back to Antigo from China. You can read a very interesting article about the company’s decision to move back to Wisconsin by clicking here.

While I will continue to aggressively pursue companies from all over the world to come to Wisconsin, it is important to remember that the majority of job growth over the next few years will likely take place by employers already doing business in Wisconsin. Specifically, we can continue to have an impact on employers who are considering expanding in Wisconsin. Recent indicators have shown that employers believe our state and its economy are now headed in the right direction. I am hopeful that with that trend, coupled with an effective worker training plan, we can encourage Wisconsin employers to expand here.

It has been a pleasure communicating with you. It is an honor to serve as your Governor and represent the residents of Wisconsin.


Governor Scott Walker

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